National Public Works Week: Meet Steve Blakely

Image of employee Steve Blakely

Q: What is your role with Quinte West and how long have you been with the City?

A: As the Maintenance Technician, my job has changed over the years. After over 31 years with the City, my main responsibilities include maintaining the splash pads in all forms. I have learned to program each pad and properly winterize them. I am also responsible for a lot of our seasonal facilities, including the Frankford Municipal Golf Course, marina docks, Farmers’ Market, ball diamonds and more. I also really enjoy acting as the lead for our seasonal summer crew. During a regular year, this crew tackles all major outdoor city events and cares for parks all across Quinte West. Over the years, I’ve become a jack of all trades for the city, whenever I’m called upon, I’m ready to assist!

Q: What do you like most about your job?

A: There is always some new challenge or project on hand. I never get bored. I like getting creative with solutions, especially for first-time issues. I get to think outside the box. Sometimes you only have a matter of minutes to figure out a solution, and because of our quick work, we develop a reputation for being problem solvers.

Q: What’s the most challenging/rewarding part of your job?

A: My job brings a lot of joy to residents. There have been several times that people come to me with a big smile and say thank you when I’m working in the parks, on the trails or servicing the splash pads. It makes it all worthwhile. It can be challenging when something breaks down, and residents want it to be fixed as quickly as yesterday. Incredibly quick response times are needed. I do appreciate that this job teaches you to keep calm. If you panic, you’re toast. As a lead, you set the example for your team. You learn what to prioritize and what needs to be done before you get to work.

Q: How does a person get into a career like yours? 

A: I have taken so many courses over the years, it’s hard to keep track. I have courses in irrigation, trail management, electrical experience, plumbing, carpentry… you name it, and I’ve had a hand in it. I am fortunate to have years of experience on the job, which helps in times where solutions are needed. For a job like this, it’s not about schooling, it’s about the willingness to learn. It’s about living. When I was originally hired, I was a general labourer. I slowly became involved in different elements of maintenance. I also have my small engine license which was crucial to repairs early on in my career.

Q: What is something you wish people knew about your job?

A: I prefer to sit in the back and watch people succeed in their roles. My job is in the background. There are SO many different things we do, so it’s very difficult to have someone know the entire scope of the job. You are waiting for the phone to ring and you’re on the go to the next job. We can only move so fast, but we try our best to be efficient.

Q: What’s your favourite thing to do/eat/see in Quinte West?

A: You can always catch me on a golf course! I love the golfing offered in Quinte West. I take a little bit of extra pride in assisting with the opening of the Frankford Golf Course. I also really enjoy the variety of events/jobs/activities that take place in Quinte West. It always brings extra excitement to my daily job. I miss assisting with and attending the special events and I can’t wait to see them come back.

Last Updated: 1 year ago

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